» Establishment – 1958
» Area – 800 sq km
» When to Visit – October to June
Covering an area of 800 sq km in total, with a core area of approximately 500 sq km, Sariska Tiger Reserve is home to several rare and endangered wildlife species. Although larger than Ranthambor, it is less commercialised and has less tigers but a similar topography. Sariska, in Rajasthan, the erstwhile royal preserve of the rulers of Alwar, became a sanctuary in the year 1958. The sanctuary came under the Project Tiger in 1979 and became a national park in 1982.
The landscape of Sariska comprises of hills and narrow valleys of the Aravali hill range. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. The broad range of wildlife here is a wonderful example of ecological adoption and tolerance, for the climate here is variable as well as erratic.
At last count in 1985, 35 tigers were reported in Sariska. Other carnivores of the area are the panther, jungle cat, jackal and hyena. Three caracals were also reported during the last census in 1985. Other animals include the sambar, chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai and umpteen porcupines.
The bird-life comprises of the pea fowl, gray partridge, quail, sand grouse, tree pie, white breasted kingfisher, golden – backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and great Indian horned owl.
Magnificent ruins peppered around the neighbourhood of Sariska add to the region’s fascination. The Neelkanth (Shiva) temples (6th-13th century AD) and the ancient Kankwari Fort inside the Reserve, is where Emperor Aurangzeb once held his brother Dara Shikoh captive. A beautiful palace complex built here in 1902 has been converted into a hotel.
How to Reach :
The town closest to Sariska is Alwar, and the park itself lies off the Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur highway, just over 100 km from Jaipur, and about 200 km from Delhi. Alwar, a mere 21 km from Sariska, is the nearest railhead, and has frequent trains from Deeg, Bharatpur, Jaipur and other towns.
» Establishment – 1980
» Area – 3162 sq. kms
» When to Visit –September to March.
The Desert National Park is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthan near Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of 3162 sq. km. The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar desert and its diverse fauna.
Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes which are quite suitable for the chinkara to move at high speed. The blackbuck is another common antelope of this region. Its other notable inhabitants are the desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf and desert cat.
Desert National Sanctuary holds a very important place in the state of Rajasthan mainly because it houses many wildlife creatures like desert cat, fox, hare, spiny tail, uromastix, imperial sand grouse, Indian bustards, eagles, falcons and sand fish which are rare in other wildlife zoos. The desert animals which would be difficult to trace in other areas are a plenty in this region.
How to Reach :
Jaisalmer is the nearest town (40 kms). Nearest air, road and railhead is Jaisalmer.